Where I’m Going and Where I’ve Been

It’s been four days since I left Chicago. That’s four days since the “real adventure” started. I say the “real adventure,” because in all honesty, we’ve had it pretty good the last twenty-six days. We’ve had the opportunity to take showers at least every other day, have had the comforts of populated rest stops such as McDonald’s and gas stations, and have been blessed by our hosts’ incredible hospitality and absurd amounts of food. We’ve had it much better than past teams, and in the first twenty-two days, most of us knew we were headed to our homeland in Chicago.

But that has changed. We aren’t headed towards familiarity where our family and friends are. Now we are headed away into the unknown. We are headed towards less populated areas where we won’t be able to buy lunch, where showers won’t always be available, and where we will finally have to face the reality of pasta, lentils, and oatmeal. For a portion of our trip, we’ll be the trailblazers, the test drivers, and the guinea pigs for the new route. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. Much of the stories we’ve heard from past riders take place in the last two-thirds of our trip. Wall Drug, the Badlands, Yellowstone, bagged milk, San Francisco—all of these are just highlights of what we’re going to see. We may not know all of what lies ahead, but we do know one thing: It’s going to be awesome.

I mean, just look at the incredible time we’ve had in our three days in Wisconsin. We’ve seen the sunset on a lake twice (some of us even got up early to watch it rise), discovered the incredible delight that is bagged chocolate milk, sampled cheese curds, swam in at least two different lakes, played intense games of “My Cow,” and enjoyed the incredibly beautiful scenery of Wisconsin. And I’m not exaggerating about the last part; the woods, hills, farms, and fields are breathtaking! I have no doubts that this is my favorite state so far (sorry Pennsylvania!).

And this is just one state! I can’t even put into words how excited I am over what is to come. I can’t wait to see the people I’m going to meet, the roads I am going to ride, and the memories I am going to make. Yeah, the unknown is going to be awesome.

Sunset at Lake Geneva, WI

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